Posts Written On October 2013

Paint-by-Number Paris Street Scene – DIY

First of all, I want to thank everyone who made a comment on my Flower Garden Quilt Quandary. After reading all the comments (most of which politely suggested that I am crazy to take this quilt apart), and looking over the quilt again, I have decided to keep the set the way the quilter intended. I evened up the edges, and will add the flowers I removed, together with about 20 I’ll need to sew from vintage fabric, to make the quilt two rows wider.  Thank you so much for your great advice.

Now to the paint-by-number I’ve been working on all this week.

Paint-by-number kits were very popular when I was young, and I really wanted one, being someone who liked coloring books and was generally a “stay-in-the-lines” type of colorer. Unfortunately, I was a little too young, and it was my older sister who got the cool oil paint set in the real wood case, as well as a paint-by-number kit. Neither of us remember what the picture was, but I definitely remember being envious.

So, last week on Etsy there was this great paint-by-number picture from a kit produced in 1953, but I didn’t want to buy it — I wanted to paint it.  And I figured out a way to do it.

Paint-by-Number Reproduction
Palmer Paints, Inc., 1953
Suburb De Paris
Martha Dellasega Gray, 2013

Here’s what I did:

  • Enlarged and straightened the picture in Photoshop (mine is about 18″ x 20″)
  • Saved it as a Photoshop pdf and tile printed it in Acrobat on a color laser printer
  • Trimmed the pages and carefully Mod-Podged them to a piece of foam board – let dry
  • Brushed several more layers of Mod-Podge on top of the picture – let dry
  • Lightly sanded the Mod-Podge which made the paint stick better
  • Used acrylic paints and small to medium brushes to paint in the colors
  • Brushed another layer of Mod-Podge over the finished painting
  • Went to Goodwill and got a cheap frame which I cut down and spray painted
  • Hung up my new picture

Of course, there are no numbers in my technique — I just tried to match the colors on the image.  Seriously, this was a lot of fun, and I found a photo of a companion painting that is just as cute, but has the Eiffel Tower in it.


Vintage Flower Garden Quilt Quandary

Here is my most recent purchase on ebay — a big quilt top made up of single flower garden blocks sewn together without a path.  When I purchased it, I was planning on taking the blocks apart and resetting them, but now that I’ve seen it in person, I’m having doubts.

The top is a nice size (72″ x 90″) with a couple of uneven edges.


The 1930s dress prints are so sweet.


And, unlike most vintage tops/blocks I purchase, the stitching is very neatly done.


I just can’t get past the randomness of the set, and all those flowers butting up against each other.  Since there’s very little contrast among all those pastels, it just looks like kind of a mush to me.  Am I being ridiculous?

Here’s some alternative sets I was considering when I bought the top.  The most obvious idea was to separate the single flowers with a white path.


The second idea was to add a third row to each flower in a coordinating solid, and add a white path.  I love the printed hexagon border on this example.


The last set is a little more unusual, with a third row in white and a solid color path.


What do you think?  Do you like any of these alternatives, have another suggestion, or am I crazy to take this top apart?


Quilt of Birds Pattern — Nancy Page Quilt Club

This pattern was published by Florence LaGanke in the 1930s, and was part of the Nancy Page Quilt Club series.  The instructions call for each bird to be framed by appliqued fabric pieces meant to resemble strips of wood. Thumbnails of the bird patterns are shown below (click to enlarge), and the complete pattern with instructions is available here.

Other Nancy Page patterns are available in earlier posts:  Falling Leaves, Brother-Sister, and Embroidered Snowflake




Two Crazy Quilts and Some Paper Dolls

My friend, Patty (Patalier on Etsy), recently found two vintage crazy quilt pieces at her local thrift store. She purchased both, keeping one for herself and sending the other one to me, because she knew I would love it.


She also sent a photo of the cute quilt she made from her piece.  She cut squares out of her section, using her own fabrics for the block and quilt borders, and then she added her amazing machine quilting.  The quilt is available in her Etsy shop, along with several other beautiful quilts she has made using vintage tops and blocks.



Patty’s quilt inspired my own, but I decided to cut out the individual prints in my piece to make my own smaller crazy blocks, adding some additional vintage fabrics from my stash. For the sashing, I used a vintage green ditsy Quadriga Cloth (a very smooth, tightly woven percale) that I purchased months ago from Patty’s shop.  I’m still in the process of spiffing up the house, and I am making this little quilt to hang on the wall in our bedroom.



There was just enough of the ditsy fabric left to use as a background in my spray painted frame displaying these cute reproduction paper dolls — a gift my sister brought back from her recent trip to Copenhagen.  It’s been ages since I’ve cut out paper dolls.